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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Altruism as Myth

There is talk of moving therapy from weekly to bi-weekly.  If that is the case I may be looking at a week off next Tuesday.  

I agonized over letting our cleaning lady go last week.  That frees up an additional $160 a month.  Of course now we are responsible for kitchens and bathrooms.  

Throw in the additional $300 we would save with new bi-weekly sessions that is 5 hundy a month net.  Where will we spend that money?  Will we be able to bank some of it?  

Smart money says our Whole Foods orders absorb any and all additional funds.  Maybe as the year is now at the mid-way point it is time for the Quicken audit.

Am I the only one that does this?  Maybe a call to Verizon to see what better prices/plans they can offer?

I am certain there will be more calls to our Health Care provider to fight a $700 bill.  Turns out our plan has a Radiology deductible.  So, when someone has a non-life threatening emergency and decides to go to an in-network facility in lieu of the ER, they are on the hook for it.

Logically you penalize your member for trying to do the right thing.  Obama care?  

I wonder if I wanted to start my own company.  How much would it be to pay for a family insurance plan?  We have been most fortunate our employer has paid for these benefits.  But he is getting screwed and clearly not getting much for his coin.  Every year the Summary of Benefits changes and physicians drop out of the plan.  I have recently lamented about losing our daughter's only pediatrician.  We received letter after letter from them to us regarding our insurer.  

"We are leaving them" they implored us.  "They are making it impossible to align with them."  "They care more about profit than caring for patients."

These things I knew all too well from my time working for a regional HMO.  And I worked for a non-profit!!!

Now my daughter is in limbo.  I have asked her to please not take ill.  

Guess I don't bitch too much about no dental or vision.  Surely no one has that, right?

Good thing I see so well.  Oh, right, a bit on the blind side I am.

I will exhaust the appeal system and try and get this bill to go away.  What else do I have to do?  HMO's and their customer service teams are always so helpful and accommodating too.

The audits are important though.  There is fat to be trimmed.

Which makes the much discussed Derek Jeter home run ball all the more intriguing.  Much has been made of Christian Lopez's returning Jeter's 3000 hit no questions asked.  Everyone praised his altruism and marveled that this is how we SHOULD act.  

Sure, Mr Lopez's actions speak to his character and overall naivete.  His actions are also a bit screwed up.

Once the NY rags got a hold of this story Uncle Sam came knocking.  The Yanks were polite in giving up a plush suite for the rest of the season (no one else is in them anyway) and a bevy of merchandise (signed and everything.)

You best believe those items will be taxed.  So what favors will he get for his good actions that will surpass what he would have gotten had he kept and auctioned the ball off?  And does Jeter really need the ball?  

He had the bat.  He had the uniform.  He has the 3000 hits and Minka Kelly in his bed. 

It is your souvenir my friend.  It is why kids bring their gloves to the crowd and it is why dad's fall to their deaths trying to give that same kid the memory of his life.

I still remember the look on my daughter's face when I caught a ball and handed it to her at Yankee Stadium last year.  "You really did it dad."

Nevermind she bitched about our $150 seats for the 9 innings that follow.

This is not to say that Lopez, a 23 year old cell phone salesman, might not go on to make a nice living.  I just wonder how much being the good guy helped him here.

I think we may need to start our civility a bit lower.

Keep holding doors for strangers.  Let someone take a left coming out of the parking lot when you know if you don't they will be there forever.  Say hello to people when you walk by them.  Don't speak on your cellphone and order coffee at the same time.  

Little things can go a long way.

When it's time to get paid though I think you might want to hop on board.

Those opportunities are few and far between.  

I remember my old Sociology professor and I arguing about the existence of altruism.  "There are no truly altruistic acts" he always preached to me.

"Of course there are" I would say.

As I get older I believe him more and more.  That ain't a good thing.  I will expound on that later, now off to explain other things.

Thanks Moose for at least providing a laugh today:

This is one of the things I am talking about.  Please see all of the links and DO NOT repeat anything the customer does.  People really do suck some(read:most) of the time.

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